Research Newsletter 61   22 June 2018
WELCOME! Research @ Wintec.

Please scroll down to find:




  • Using Big Data to Tackle Inequalities in Society
  • NZIFST Conference
  • 2018 ITP Symposium
  • 29th Annual Conference of the AAEE
  • IASPN-ANZ 2018 conference
  • Events previously publicised
  • Wintec academic writers' retreat
  • 2018 Rutherford Foundation funding round
  • Opportunities previously publicised

New in the Wintec Library…

Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction 
by Jonathan Lazar, Jinjuan Heidi Feng and Harry Hochheiser

A comprehensive research guide for both quantitative and qualitative research methods, written by a team of authorities in human-computer interaction (HCI) and usability. This pedagogical guide walks you through the methods used in HCI and examines what are considered to be appropriate research practices in the field. Through the real-world examples featured, you’ll discover how these methods have been used in HCI research and gain a stronger understanding of the subject matter.
  • An authoritative, comprehensive resource on all things related to research methods in human-computer interaction
  • Addresses experimental research and design methods, statistical analysis, and time diaries
  • Shares authentic case studies, interviews, and focus group experiences
  • Reviews analysing qualitative data, working with human subjects and handling automated computer data collection methods. 
No need to visit the Library (though you should do this from time to time anyway), as this is an e-book. You can read it online here.

Pierson Rathinaraj warms up for his presentation on Tuesday evening


The first Wintec Research Event for 2018 was held this week and generated interest, ideas and discussion among researchers from across faculty around the research presented and the theme of Innovation, Creativity and Design.


Joe Citizen (Media Arts) started the proceedings with a PowerPoint and discussion of his ongoing PhD work which will result in a 6m interactive waka sculpture to be installed permanently on the banks of the Waikato River (at Ferrybank Park). The physical sculpture is moving towards completion but Joe’s presentation focused on what has been learnt from the process in terms of embedding a Māori capability framework, and engaging students in learning and production processes.


Gert Hattingh (Applied Innovation Services) presented a poster on Development of a sediment potential calculation for the upper Waipa river from Nephelometric and Formazin Attenuation turbidity, shining a light (literally) on samples taken from a vertical section of the river and discussing the implications of their different characteristics.


Walking away from his poster (which is destined to appear at a conference in Japan shortly), Monjur Ahmed (CBITE IT) drew on his teaching skills to make clear the threats inherent to overly ‘smart’ or connected homes. These are substantial because connectivity is not contained within the home, but is linked to much broader, sometimes malign, networks – yes, your mobile phone can spy on you! Fortunately, Monjur has proposed a solution to this in the form of a redundancy-based security model for a smart home.


Chathurika Samarakoon discussed her work on the development of meat-based ready meals. Her research is industry embedded and has clear commercial potential given the demand for ready meals that arises from career based modern lifestyles, and an aging population in New Zealand and many other countries. But in the era of Masterchef etc. there is also a demand for food that looks, smells and tastes great.


Xavier Meade (Media Arts began with a Youtube clip of his recent exhibition in Valencia Spain – Paralelos Urbanos, a joint photographic exhibition with his brother, Reo (see Research @ Wintec, 59, 25 May). From there he moved onto a more general discussion of his interest in art as a vernacular that speaks within but also largely outside of formal gallery spaces, and the many projects that this understanding has spawned.


Also from Applied Innovation Services, Pierson Rathinaraj outlined research on the use of gold nanoparticles as a vehicle for the delivery of anti-cancer drugs. Because this is a highly targeted delivery method, it affects only the cancer cells and thus causes minimal side effects.


CHASP researchers and teachers, Ricci Wesselink and Sherard Sharma reflected on what they have learnt from flipped classroom delivery using Kura cloud. They chose to present their work in a creative C.O.W. presentation which ran continuously throughout the evening and elicited plenty of discussion, highlighting the fact that most Wintec researchers also teach and have a strong commitment to this aspect of their role.


The next research event will be held in September and a number of researchers have already expressed interest in taking part.

The draft (near final) programme for the symposium is available. It includes an opening session with addresses by TeUrikore Biddle, Chief Executive – Unitec; Glenn McKay: Unitec, Tumu Tauwhirowhiro Māori and Executive Director; Josie Keelan: Unitec, Dean Teaching and Learning, Mātauranga Māori; and Marcus Williams: Unitec, Dean Research and Enterprise.
Two further plenary sessions in the morning, will be followed by afternoon sessions split into different streams.
Winners of the Dig My Idea Māori Innovation Challenge will be announced at the Symposium dinner on the first night.
Along with panel sessions on the second day of the Symposium, field trips to experience instances of Māori innovation have been planned. These are to: Mindlab/Tech Futures (Kaitiaki: TeUrikore Biddle); Te Puea (Kaitiaki: Maxine Graham) and Māori Television (Kaitiaki: Rihi Tenana).
If you wish to see further details of the draft programme, this is available through the Research Office or from Jamie Lambert in the Māori Achievement Office.

Due to cancellations, a very small number of Wintec-sponsored registrations for the Symposium have become available again. Please contact Linda McPhee if you are interested.

Reminder: All those on Wintec's sponsored participant list do still need to register individually.
Using Big Data to Tackle Inequalities in Society, Auckland, Tāmaki Innovation Campus, University of Auckland, 28 June
A free conference bringing a number of established academic researchers examining inequalities in the Big Data space, to discuss experiences, compare systems, and brainstorm ideas for new projects and potential collaborations. See here for further details and registration.

New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology (NZIFST) Conference, Distinction Hotel, Te Rapa, Hamilton, 3 to 5 July
The  conference is to unite people in the food industry who apply science and technology to the processing and distribution of foods. Further details are here

Ka Rewa - Māori Innovation Symposium, UNITEC, 10 and 11 July
The 2018 ITP symposium also offers a Māori Postgraduate Day on Monday 9 July - details to come. Registration for the symposium is here.

Wintec event
29th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE), Hamilton, 9 to12 December.
Co-hosted by Wintec and University of Waikato. See here for further information and registration.

Wintec event

IASPM-ANZ 2018 Conference, 3 to 5 December, Wintec City Campus
The title is 'Playing Along': Music, Participation and Everyday Life. Organised by a team from Wintec Media Arts. The call for abstract submission (for papers or panels) is open now and closes 1 June. See here for details, and register with IPASM here.

Events previously publicised
  • AMRF 50th Anniversary Free Public Lecture Series
    Forthcoming lectures are:
        Living longer: A social revolution, 19 July
       Saving babies and improving their life-long health, 21 August
    Both lectures are 7 to 8.30pm, AMRF Lecture Theatre, Grafton Campus, University of Auckland.Go here for further details and to register.
  • Kings and Queens Annual Management Research Conference, Wintec, 21 and 22 September
    See here for details. Closing date for abstract submissions is 31 July. Earlybird registration now open.
  • 7th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation, Sydney, Australia, 27 and 28 NovemberRegistration opens in June.
Wintec opportunity
Academic Writers' Retreat, facilitated by Gail Pittaway (Wintec Media Arts), 11 to 13 July, Wintec Hamilton Gardens Campus
A sponsored opportunity (with catering) to get away from home, office and classroom to work on a substantial piece of written academic work in a calm setting with expert facilition and support. Please let Linda or Megan know if you would like to attend the retreat.

2018 Rutherford Foundation funding round 
The Foundation aims to build human capability in science and technology by providing early career support for New Zealand’s brightest and most promising researchers. Open now - See here. Closing date is 2 August

Opportunities previously publicised
  • HRC Career development awards, to support the career development of emerging health researchers. Details are available here, and registration is open now. .
  • WEL Energy grants (Community Support Round; Quick Response Round). Click here for details and applications portal. Closing date is 29 June.
  • James Dyson award For young designers and engineers. See here for details. Deadline is 19 July.
  • R H T Bates postgraduate scholarship, Details available here. Closing date is 1 September.
  • Callaghan Innovation R&D Career Grants These help a Masters or PhD graduate get their first job in a New Zealand R&D business by paying their salary for the first six months. See details, guidelines and application forms here.
At this stage, 45 (of 67) portfolios have been uploaded and the NRO evidence has been uploaded for 12 of these. The staff data file to support our submission (currently an Excel spreadsheet) is about 3 cells off being completed. We are making progress but there is still plenty to be done.

TEC staff are keeping an eye on what is uploaded and how the participating institutions are getting on. Two points come out of their update yesterday.

The first relates to too little information, noting that Research Contributions (RCs) need A comprehensive description of the nature and significance of the item that includes sufficient information and evidence of the quality and prestige of the research and research-related activity that supports the assessment. This should also provide information to evidence the claims, including key details of the activity, such as dates and organisation(s) or others involved.” If there is no information or evidence about this, then the judgement panels make against the scoring descriptors will reflect the lack of information provided.

The other point relates to an area in which we may have been guilty of including too much information (largely because the character limit suggested this was needed). The TEC update warns against,
ORO Description fields containing far more than the Bibliographic information required. Panels will be instructed to ignore any information that doesn’t meet the description set out in the TEO guidelines (doi information will be used by the audit team)."

If there is inadequate description of your RCs, it is likely that the Research Office has already asked for further information but you are also welcome to think this through and submit further explanatory details. If there is unnecessary detail for your OROs, you do not need to do anything as this can be removed during review and uploading.

Sujani Thrikawala joined Wintec recently as a Senior Academic Staff Member in the Centre for Business, Information Technology and Enterprise (CBITE). She is currently involved in developing a Postgraduate Programme for the Finance stream.

She obtained her Bachelor of Commerce (Special) Degree (B.Com.) and Master of Science in Management and Information Technology Degree (MSc. in MIT) from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. After completing her Master’s degree, she came to New Zealand to attain her PhD. She joined the University of Waikato and completed her doctoral studies in the field of Finance. Sujani’s thesis looks into corporate governance practices in the microfinance industry in Sri Lanka and India and then analyses how these practices influence the financial performance and outreach of microfinance institutions in both countries.

Sujani had several years’ experience of lecturing before moving to Wintec. She worked as a Senior Lecturer in one of the leading government universities in Sri Lanka while studying as a doctoral student. She worked as a tutor in the Department of Finance, teaching subjects such as corporate finance, international financial management, new venture finance, microfinance, financial accounting, econometrics and research methodology for undergraduate and postgraduate students in Sri Lanka and undergraduates in New Zealand.

Her main research interests are in the areas of corporate governance, microfinance, small and medium level business development and emerging markets. Her primary interest is the development of the microfinance industry for the betterment of poor people in developing countries and she has published her research findings in international refereed journals. Sujani has supervised Master’s level students and worked as a research assistant at the Centre for Executive Education and Institute for Business Research (IBR), Waikato Management School, University of Waikato.

As the postgraduate programme she is working on is a new degree programme for Wintec, Sujani is passionate about contributing her knowledge and experience to its development and success.


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